The government officials in Pakistan say that the UK government is taking a keen interest in the CPEC project. The United Kingdom expects to become a major partner in a massive project worth $51 billion.
Greg Hands, the UK’s Minister of State had a roundtable meeting in Islamabad on Tuesday. Many prominent government officials from the Pakistani side also took part in the meeting. Some of the participants belonged to private business enterprises including the UK High Commissioner to Pakistan and Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK, representing the British firms. Chinese officials and other policy-making experts also attended the meeting.
The UK also wants to host a bigger CPEC conference in Islamabad.
UK’s Interest in the CPEC Project
After the Brexit, the UK government is already seen active in participating in new trade opportunities.
Here is what the UK High Commissioner of Pakistan had to say.
“We have a clear ambition to increase trade with both China and Pakistan and UK businesses are well placed to capitalize on the new opportunities in the region.”
On the other hand, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to the UK Syed Ibn e Abbas said that meetings with Department of International Trade at Foreign and Commonwealth Office have always proved fruitful.
Syed Ibn e Abbas also stated that Pakistan had a steady economic growth of 5.2% and international credit rating agencies had upgraded Pakistan’s rating to “emerging market.” He also praised the performance of Pakistan Stock Exchange as one of the five highest performing stock markets in the world. He also invited private and government investors of the UK to take benefit from the CPEC project.
On this occasion, the Chinese Ambassador praised the long lasting relationship between China and Pakistan. He also said that Pakistan’s geographical location had a lot of economic potentials and its demographic advantage would always help the CPEC project. He said CPEC project was an excellent initiative and over 100 countries around the world had wished to become part of it.
The British Minister assured the meeting attendants of full support from the Department of International Trade. All meeting participants agreed to keep the momentum of the meetings taking place between all stakeholders.
Brexit has changed the way the UK thinks about the world. By separating from the European Union, Britain will get the freedom to decide trade on its terms. The desire to join the CPEC project reflects the proactive approach by the United Kingdom to improve its bilateral trade with other countries including Pakistan.